Tuesday, August 20

What is behind Hong Kong protest: America’s “Hybrid War” against China has Entered a New Phase

America’s “Hybrid War” against China has Entered a New Phase
By Christopher Black
Global Research, August 15, 2019

"The latest phase in this hybrid warfare is the insurrection being provoked by the US, UK, Canada and the rest in Hong Kong, using tactics designed to provoke China into suppressing the rioters with force to amplify the anti-Chinese propaganda, or pushing the “protestors” into declaring Hong Kong independent of China and then using force to support them.

Mitch McConnell, an important US senator implicitly threatened just such a scenario in a statement on August 12th stating that the US is warning China not to block the protests and that if they are suppressed trouble will follow. In other words the US is claiming that it will protect the thugs in black shirts, the shirts of fascists. This new phase is very dangerous, as the Chinese government has time and again stated, and has to be handled with intelligence and the strength of the Chinese people.
There is now abundant evidence that the UK and US are the black hand behind the events in Hong Kong. When the Hong Kong Bar association joined in the protests the west claimed that even the lawyers were supporting the protests in an attempt to bring justice to the people. But the leaders of that association are all either UK lawyers or members of law firms based in London, such as Jimmy Chan, head of the so-called Human Civil Rights Front, formed in 2002 with the objective of breaking Honk Kong away from China, such as Kevin Lam, a partner in another London based law firm, and Steve Kwok and Alvin Yeung, members of the anti-China Civic Party who are going to meet with US officials next week."
(read entire article here)

Monday, August 19

Is Transparency International a serious organization or is it just sense of humor?

I just visited Transparency International site for a friend of mine told me that the Car Wash Operation was the winner in 2015 of the "Anti-Corruption Award".
As one of the criteria for ineligibility is "Individuals or organisations of questionable integrity or goals." 
It seems the members who are in charge of the nomination are not paying attention on their own criteria: "The action should recognise the longevity of commitment to fighting corruption."

As "The Intercept" leaks shows, Sergio Moro, the former judge now Minister of Justice -  his intentions were political with no commitment to fight corruption and Deltan Dallagnol are extremely corrupted.
Deltan Dallagnol is a rich guy and only thought about being famous to make more money and have power.
Well, it is not up to me to explain why someone should or should not receive a prize.

But how ironic an anti-corruption award for these criminals that will face justice in a near future being corruption one of the crimes, 

Monday in Brazil as a shithole

Brazilians wonder what kind of shit, he loves this word, will Bolsonaro say and do.
What is said is what people talk about though the consequences of what is done is far more evil. Indecorous to say the least.

Sunday, August 18

Cake recipe instead of article?

During Brazilian dictatorship when  censorship didn't approve an article the newspaper "Folha da Tarde" published a cake recipe or a part of the poem "The Lusiads".
I felt like posting a recipe today.
Anything to do with algorithms?

The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe
A classic vanilla cake recipe, made completely from scratch! Ditch the box mixes — you’ll love how easy, moist and fluffy this homemade vanilla cake is! Go here, this first recipe Google gave me.

Friday, August 16

Revealed: rampant deforestation of Amazon driven by global greed for meat

Investigation exposes how Brazil’s huge beef sector continues to threaten health of world’s largest rainforest
Source: The Guardian.
Transporting livestock in Terra do Meio, in the municipality of São Félix do Xingu, in the Amazon state of Pará. Photograph: Joao Laet/The Guardian
‘We must not barter the Amazon rainforest for burgers and steaks’
Animals farmed is supported by
About this content

"The cows grazed under the midday Amazon sun, near a wooden bridge spanning a river. It was an idyllic scene of pastoral quiet, occasionally broken by a motorbike growling on the dirt road that cuts through part of the Lagoa do Triunfo cattle farm to a nearby community.
But this pasture is land that the farm has been forbidden to use for cattle since 2010, when it was embargoed by Brazil’s government environment agency Ibama for illegal deforestation. Nearby were more signs of fresh pasture: short grass, feeding troughs, and salt for cattle.
The vast 145,000-hectare (358,302-acre) farm is one of several owned by the company AgroSB Agropecuária SA – known in the region as Santa Bárbara. Located in an environmentally protected area, Lagoa do Triunfo is more than 600km (372 miles) from the capital of the Amazon state of Pará on the western fringes of Brazil’s “agricultural frontier” – where farming eats into the rainforest. To get there takes hours of driving along dirt roads and a ferry ride from nearby São Félix do Xingu, a cattle town accessible only by plane until a few decades ago.
AgroSB supplies cattle to JBS, the world’s biggest meat packing company and single biggest supplier of beef, chicken and leather globally, with 350,000 customers in more than 150 countries.
A joint investigation by the Guardian, Repórter Brasil and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that during 2018, the Lagoa do Triunfo farm delivered hundreds of heads of cattle to other farms also owned by AgroSB for fattening. Cattle was sent from those farms to slaughter in JBS plants.
Embargos are imposed for environmental violations, such as farmers or landowners cutting down trees and deforesting illegally, and serve both as a punishment and protective measure to allow land to recover. Between 2010-2013 at least 12 areas of land on Lagoa do Triunfo were embargoed, and Ibama fined AgroSB more than $18m (£14m) – at current rates – for deforestation on the Lagoa do Triunfo farm.
Our investigative team visited land clearly demarcated as embargoed on government websites, and found cows grazing there. A farm worker said cattle were allowed to roam in areas employees knew were embargoed. “You can’t cut down the vegetation,” the employee said. “The vegetation grows and we work the cattle inside.” The Guardian is withholding their name in case of retaliation.
Work by NGO Trase, seen exclusively by our team, this week reveals the extent to which the international demand for beef is driving deforestation, with thousands of hectares of Amazon being felled every year to provide meat for world markets.
AgroSB is a powerful farming empire owned by the Opportunity group, co-founded by Daniel Dantas, a controversial businessman Bloomberg described as the “bad boy” of Brazilian finance. It owns half a million hectares across Pará and has long attracted controversy. Over the past decade, AgroSB has been accused of illegal deforestation, keeping workers in slave-like conditions, and spraying a community occupying one of its farms with pesticides – accusations it has strongly denied.
Scandal has also surrounded JBS, which is supplied by AgroSB. In 2017, following an Ibama investigation, the meat company was fined $7.7m for buying cattle from farms with embargoed areas, including another farm owned by AgroSB. The company pledged to stop buying cattle from the farm.
That same year, Joesley Batista, CEO of its controlling company, almost brought down the government of President Michel Temer after secretly recording him appearing to endorse bribery – Temer was indicted but never tried and has always denied the charges, claiming the recording was edited. Joesley and his brother Wesley, then JBS CEO, admitted an extensive web of bribery in a plea bargain deal.
In an email, a spokesman for AgroSB said any deforestation had occurred before the company acquired Lagoa do Triunfo in 2008. “AgroSB does not carry out deforestation in order to increase its area, but rather it recovers degraded areas. This brings social and environmental progress for all, because in the same area it is possible to produce more, without deforestation, in respect to the environment,” the spokesman said.
“AgroSB’s business model is anchored in the acquisition of degraded open and pastured areas, which are fertilised, reclaimed and transformed into high-intensity pastures or grain plantations – which increases food production per hectare and also captures carbon dioxide (CO2) of the atmosphere in the plantations and in more than 250,000 hectares of forests (legal reserve) maintained on its properties.” He pointed out that: “There is no irregularity in the marketing/transfer of livestock.”
He said just 7% of the farm was embargoed, and added that as AgroSB have been successful in appealing against some of the other embargos on their land, the company believes it will also overturn the embargos on Lagoa do Triunfo.
The ‘wild west’ fringe of the Amazon rainforest
With a population of 125,000 and more than two million cattle, the town of São Félix do Xingu covers an area bigger than Scotland. Cattle farming fed its growth from remote Amazon outpost to busy town, and there are clear signs of wealth here.
Just outside town, big money was being splashed at a horse racing meet in a field full of 4x4s. As two jockeys spurred their horses down the rudimentary race track, a commentator bellowed and men waved wads of cash as their bets came in.
There was more than $35,000 in prizes over two days of racing, said Valdiron Bueno, owner of two agricultural supplies shops and the race organiser. Bueno built his business more than 20 years after arriving here with just the clothes on his back. “It wasn’t easy. I cried a lot,” he said.
São Félix do Xingu was mostly forest when Arlindo Rosa, now president of the town’s union of rural producers, arrived in 1993. “There was practically none of this farming … there was no highway, there was nothing,” he said. “People came from outside with the spirit to raise cattle,” said his vice-president, Francisco Torres, who arrived in 1987.
Both men were critical of what they saw as overzealous environmental controls. Torres criticised Ibama as a “fines industry”, borrowing a phrase from President Jair Bolsonaro, who has dismantled environment protection and enjoys support from farmers like these. “How are you going to work if you can’t deforest an area, principally a small one?” said Rosa.
But the embargos do not appear to have affected AgroSB’s business, the Guardian and Réporter Brasil investigation found.
A JBS spokesman said: “The facts pointed out do not correspond to the standards and processes adopted by the Company”, indicating an independent 2018 audit that showed that “more than 99.9% of JBS’s cattle purchases meet the company’s socio-environmental criteria and the ‘Public Livestock Commitment’” – a deal signed between big cattle companies and Greenpeace in 2009. It was followed in 2011 by an agreement JBS and other meat companies signed with federal prosecutors not to buy cattle directly from embargoed or illegally deforested areas.
A spokesman told the Guardian via email: “JBS has a responsible purchase policy for raw materials and does not purchase animals from farms involved in deforestation of native forests, invasion of indigenous reserves or environmental conservation areas, or that are embargoed by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama).”
The independent audit found the company had made impressive progress in tightening up procedures and shutting out farms with areas embargoed by Ibama. However, although the system excludes farms that have embargoed areas, the audit noted that other farms owned by the same company may still sell to JBS. It concluded that: “Indirect suppliers of cattle to JBS are not yet checked systematically, since JBS has not yet managed to adopt auditable procedures for its indirect suppliers.”

Official state documents seen by the Guardian and Repórter Brasil show that from January to October 2018, Santa Bárbara delivered at least 296 cattle from the Lagoa do Triunfo farm to its Espiríto Santo farm in Xinguara, in the same state.
Between July and December 2018, Santa Bárbara sent least 1,977 cattle from the Espiríto Santo farm to two JBS slaughterhouses in Pará. In January at least 936 cattle were sent from the Espírito Santo farm to JBS’s slaughterhouse in Redenção in Pará.
Throughout 2018, Santa Bárbara also sent at least 729 cattle from the Lagoa do Triunfo farm to be fattened at its Porto Rico farm in Xinguara. In April 2018, 36 cattle from the Porto Rico farm were sent to slaughter at JBS’s plant in Tucumã in Pará.
Growing international demand for beef has become a key driver in the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, with new figures seen by our team revealing the full extent of deforestation directly linked to a handful of major food corporations. Beef linked to deforestation is exported globally, including to key markets in the east Asia and Europe.
An investigation by Trase has uncovered how up to 5,800 sq km of forest is being felled in the Amazon and other areas annually to be converted into pasture used for cattle farming, with livestock from deforested areas found to be supplying abattoirs producing beef for global markets.
The latest data shows that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been on the rise since 2012. Between August 2017 and July 2018, about 7,900 sq km was destroyed.
In the most comprehensive study of its kind ever produced, Trase used customs, agricultural, sanitary inspection, and deforestation data to map Brazilian cattle exports from the international markets which consume them back to the more than 3000 municipalities where the cattle were raised. Trase is an independent supply-chain transparency initiative, developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the UK-based NGO Global Canopy.
The analysis includes data on “indirect” suppliers, which are often intermediate farms that don’t sell directly to abattoirs, but supply other farms which may truck cattle to slaughter. This is a “previously invisible” part of the beef chain, say researchers, which is not monitored for deforestation risks.
The supply chain “map” was then cross-referenced with official datasets on pasture expansion, deforestation rates and figures on regional cattle production in order to calculate a deforestation “risk” associated with specific companies and the main international export markets.
Because of the high volume of Brazilian beef shipped to China and Hong Kong, these markets are associated with the highest amount of deforestation in total – between 17,400 and 26,400 hectares per year – according to the analysis. The EU also imports more than $600m worth of beef from Brazil each year. And that will increase if the EU and member states approve a new trade deal with Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay to gradually let 99,000 tonnes of low-tariff South American beef into Europe every year.
Erasmus zu Ermgassen, lead researcher at Trase, said that while some slaughterhouses monitor their direct suppliers, none monitor their indirect suppliers. “There is enormous potential to use land more efficiently and sustainably in the Brazilian beef sector, and to improve rural livelihoods by investing in cattle ranching on existing pasturelands.”
This article was amended on Monday 8 July to correct the figures for deforestation associated with China and Hong Kong

Tuesday, August 13

Machado de Assis - The Greatest Writer Ever Produced in Latin America according to Susan Sontag

I found yesterday "Better than Food" channel on YouTube where Clifford Lee Sargent talks about books, an audio review.
I'm feeling revenged. I can read the original and you English native speakers, and readers, have to read the translation or translations for some books need at least two translations because there are particularities that is not possible to achieve in one translation. Another translator do another version and if we are a huge admirer of the book we end up reading both. James Joyce's Ulysses have two Brazilian/Portuguese translations.

Machado de Assis is among the greatest Brazilian writers. But he has many competitors. The best produced in Latin American?
I love Susan Sontag but I have to disagree since the continent have produced numerous great writers. Actually I don't like "the best" concept. 

"The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas" is one of my favorites of the diverse work of Machado de Assis. He wrote short novels, poems, screenplays, chronicles,  was a translator and had his work divided in two phases: a romantic and a realistic.

The experiment with typographic notation is something that surprised me and I remember the first time I saw it. On chapter 55 there is "The old dialogue between Adam and Eve" (image is below) where the conversation is given by lines and dots punctuated with question marks and exclamations.
I hope that after listening to Clifford "audio review" you feel like reading the book.

Monday, August 12

Global jurists call for Lula's freedom - Lula was not tried, was the victim of political persecution

"A group of 17 international jurists, among the most renowned in the world, issued a manifesto calling for the freedom of former President Lula, who was arrested last April to be barred from running and winning the 2018 presidential election. “We were shocked to see how the fundamental rules of the due Brazilian legal process were violated without any shame,” they also say in the text."
August 11, 2019, 05:36 h

I want to remember that impartiality is a conditio sine qua non for a trial to be considered as valid. In case of partiality the jurisprudence considers that it didn't happen.

Lula was not tried, was the victim of political persecution

"We, lawyers, jurists, former ministers of justice and former members of Supreme Courts of Justice from various countries, would like to call for consideration the judges of the Supreme Court and, more broadly, the public opinion of Brazil for the serious vices of the proceedings. filed against Lula.

The recent revelations by journalist Glenn Greenwald and staff at The Intercept news site, in partnership with Folha de Sao Paulo and El País newspapers, Veja magazine and other media, have appalled all legal professionals. We were shocked to see how the fundamental rules of Brazilian due process were violated without any shame. In a country where justice is the same for everyone, a judge cannot be both judge and party to proceedings.

Sérgio Moro not only conducted the process partially, he led the prosecution from the outset. He manipulated the mechanisms of the award, directed the work of the prosecutor, demanded the replacement of a prosecutor he was not satisfied with, and directed the prosecution’s communication strategy.

In addition, it placed Lula’s lawyers on the phone and decided not to comply with the decision of a judge who ordered Lula’s release, thus grossly violating the law.

Today, it is clear that Lula was not entitled to a fair trial. It should be noted that, according to Sergio Moro himself, he was convicted of “undetermined facts”. A businessman whose testimony gave rise to one of the former president’s convictions even admitted that he was forced to construct a narrative that would incriminate Lula under pressure from prosecutors. In fact, Lula has not been tried, was and is the victim of political persecution.

Because of these illegal and immoral practices, Brazilian justice is currently experiencing a serious credibility crisis within the international legal community.

It is indispensable that the judges of the Federal Supreme Court fully exercise their functions and are the guarantors of respect for the Constitution. At the same time, we expect the Brazilian authorities to take all necessary steps to identify those responsible for these very serious procedural deviations.

The fight against corruption is today an essential issue for all citizens of the world, as is the defense of democracy. However, in Lula’s case, not only was justice instrumentalized for political ends, but the rule of law was clearly disrespected in order to eliminate the former president from the political dispute.

There is no rule of law without due process of law. And there is no respect for due process when a judge is not impartial but acts as head of the prosecution. In order for the Brazilian judiciary to restore its credibility, the Federal Supreme Court has a duty to release Lula and nullify these convictions."

List of Signatories

Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University

John Ackerman, Professor of Law and Political Science, National Autonomous University of Mexico

Susan Rose-Ackerman, Emeritus Professor Henry R. Luce of Jurisprudence, Yale University School of Law

Alfredo Beltrán, Former President of the Constitutional Court of Colombia

William Bourdon, lawyer registered with the Paris Bar

Pablo Cáceres, former president of the Colombian Supreme Court

Alberto Costa, Lawyer, Former Minister of Justice of Portugal

Herta Daubler-Gmelin, lawyer, former Minister of Justice of Germany

Luigi Ferrajoli, Professor Emeritus of Law, Rome Three University

Baltasar Garzón, lawyer registered with the Madrid Order

António Marinho e Pinto, lawyer, former president (president) of the Portuguese Bar Association

Christophe Marchand, lawyer registered with the Brussels Order

Jean-Pierre Mignard, lawyer registered with the Paris Bar

Eduardo Montealegre, former president of the Constitutional Court of Colombia

Philippe Texier, Former Judge, Honorary Counsel of the Court of Cassassan of France, Former President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council 

Diego Valadés, Former Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico, Former Attorney General of the Republic

Gustavo Zafra, former ad hoc judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Chris Hedges - America - How the World sees US - 2011/2013

"The scars I carry within me are the whispers of these dead. They are the faint marks of those who never had a chance to become men or women, to fall in love and have children of their own. I carried these scars to the doors of Goldman Sachs. I placed myself at the feet of these commodity traders to call for justice because the dead, and those who are dying in slums and refugee camps across the planet, could not make this journey. I see their faces. They haunt me in the day and come to me in the dark. They force me to remember. They make me choose sides."
Chris Hedges

That's how this video starts. As always I'm moved, angry and ready to fight when I listen to Chris Hedges. His universe touches me, says a lot of what I feel and think. Below the origin of the article Chris wrote:

Finding Freedom in Handcuffs
Truthdig November 7, 2011
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, an activist, an author and a member of a reporting team that won a 2002 Pulitzer Prize, wrote this article after he was released from custody following his arrest last Thursday. He and about 15 other participants in the Occupy Wall Street movement were detained as they protested outside the global headquarters of Goldman Sachs in lower Manhattan.

Faces appeared to me moments before the New York City police arrested us Thursday in front of Goldman Sachs. They were not the faces of the smug Goldman Sachs employees, who peered at us through the revolving glass doors and lobby windows, a pathetic collection of middle-aged fraternity and sorority members. They were not the faces of the blue-uniformed police with their dangling cords of white and black plastic handcuffs, or the thuggish Goldman Sachs security personnel, whose buzz cuts and dead eyes reminded me of the East German secret police, the Stasi. They were not the faces of the demonstrators around me, the ones with massive student debts and no jobs, the ones whose broken dreams weigh them down like a cross, the ones whose anger and betrayal triggered the street demonstrations and occupations for justice. They were not the faces of the onlookers — the construction workers, who seemed cheered by the march on Goldman Sachs, or the suited businessmen who did not. They were faraway faces. They were the faces of children dying. They were tiny, confused, bewildered faces I had seen in the southern Sudan, Gaza and the slums of Brazzaville, Nairobi, Cairo and Delhi and the wars I covered. They were faces with large, glassy eyes, above bloated bellies. They were the small faces of children convulsed by the ravages of starvation and disease.

I carry these faces. They do not leave me. I look at my own children and cannot forget them, these other children who never had a chance. War brings with it a host of horrors, including famine, but the worst is always the human detritus that war and famine leave behind, the small, frail bodies whose tangled limbs and vacant eyes condemn us all. The wealthy and the powerful, the ones behind the glass at Goldman Sachs, laughed and snapped pictures of us as if we were a brief and odd lunchtime diversion from commodities trading, from hoarding and profit, from this collective sickness of money worship, as if we were creatures in a cage, which in fact we soon were.

A glass tower filled with people carefully selected for the polish and self-assurance that come with having been formed in institutions of privilege, whose primary attributes are a lack of consciousness, a penchant for deception and an incapacity for empathy or remorse. The curious onlookers behind the windows and we, arms locked in a circle on the concrete outside, did not speak the same language. Profit. Globalization. War. National security. These are the words they use to justify the snuffing out of tiny lives, acts of radical evil. Goldman Sachs’ commodities index is the most heavily traded in the world. Those who trade it have, by buying up and hoarding commodities futures, doubled and tripled the costs of wheat, rice and corn. Hundreds of millions of poor across the globe are going hungry to feed this mania for profit. The technical jargon, learned in business schools and on trading floors, effectively masks the reality of what is happening — murder. These are words designed to make systems operate, even systems of death, with a cold neutrality. Peace, love and all sane affirmative speech in temples like Goldman Sachs are, as W.H. Auden understood, “soiled, profaned, debased to a horrid mechanical screech.”

We seemed to have lost, at least until the advent of the Occupy Wall Street movement, not only all personal responsibility but all capacity for personal judgment. Corporate culture absolves all of responsibility. This is part of its appeal. It relieves all from moral choice. There is an unequivocal acceptance of ruling principles such as unregulated capitalism and globalization as a kind of natural law. The steady march of corporate capitalism requires a passive acceptance of new laws and demolished regulations, of bailouts in the trillions of dollars and the systematic looting of public funds, of lies and deceit. The corporate culture, epitomized by Goldman Sachs, has seeped into our classrooms, our newsrooms, our entertainment systems and our consciousness. This corporate culture has stripped us of the right to express ourselves outside of the narrowly accepted confines of the established political order. It has turned us into compliant consumers. We are forced to surrender our voice. These corporate machines, like fraternities and sororities, also haze new recruits in company rituals, force them to adopt an unrelenting cheerfulness, a childish optimism and obsequiousness to authority. These corporate rituals, bolstered by retreats and training seminars, by grueling days that sometimes end with initiates curled up under their desks to sleep, ensure that only the most morally supine remain. The strong and independent are weeded out early so only the unquestioning advance upward. Corporate culture serves a faceless system. It is, as Hannah Arendt writes, “the rule of nobody and for this very reason perhaps the least human and most cruel form of rulership.”Our political class, and its courtiers on the airwaves, insists that if we refuse to comply, if we step outside of the Democratic Party, if we rebel, we will make things worse. This game of accepting the lesser evil enables the steady erosion of justice and corporate plundering. It enables corporations to harvest the nation and finally the global economy, reconfiguring the world into neofeudalism, one of masters and serfs. This game goes on until there is hardly any action carried out by the power elite that is not a crime. It goes on until corporate predators, who long ago decided the nation and the planet were not worth salvaging, seize the last drops of wealth. It goes on until moral acts, such as calling for those inside the corporate headquarters of Goldman Sachs to be tried, see you jailed, and the crimes of financial fraud and perjury are upheld as lawful and rewarded by the courts, the U.S. Treasury and the Congress. And all this is done so a handful of rapacious, immoral plutocrats like Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs who sucks down about $250,000 a day and who lied to the U.S. Congress as well as his investors and the public, can use their dirty money to retreat into their own Forbidden City or Versailles while their underlings, basking in the arrogance of power, snap amusing photos of the rabble outside their gates being hauled away by the police and company goons.

It is vital that the occupation movements direct attention away from their encampments and tent cities, beset with the usual problems of hastily formed open societies where no one is turned away. Attention must be directed through street protests, civil disobedience and occupations toward the institutions that are carrying out the assaults against the 99 percent. Banks, insurance companies, courts where families are being foreclosed from their homes, city offices that put these homes up for auction, schools, libraries and firehouses that are being closed, and corporations such as General Electric that funnel taxpayer dollars into useless weapons systems and do not pay taxes, as well as propaganda outlets such as the New York Post and its evil twin, Fox News, which have unleashed a vicious propaganda war against us, all need to be targeted, shut down and occupied. Goldman Sachs is the poster child of all that is wrong with global capitalism, but there are many other companies whose degradation and destruction of human life are no less egregious.

It is always the respectable classes, the polished Ivy League graduates, the prep school boys and girls who grew up in Greenwich, Conn., or Short Hills, N.J., who are the most susceptible to evil. To be intelligent, as many are at least in a narrow, analytical way, is morally neutral. These respectable citizens are inculcated in their elitist enclaves with “values” and “norms,” including pious acts of charity used to justify their privilege, and a belief in the innate goodness of American power. They are trained to pay deference to systems of authority. They are taught to believe in their own goodness, unable to see or comprehend — and are perhaps indifferent to — the cruelty inflicted on others by the exclusive systems they serve. And as norms mutate and change, as the world is steadily transformed by corporate forces into one of a small cabal of predators and a vast herd of human prey, these elites seamlessly replace one set of “values” with another. These elites obey the rules. They make the system work. And they are rewarded for this. In return, they do not question.

Those who resist — the doubters, outcasts, renegades, skeptics and rebels — rarely come from the elite. They ask different questions. They seek something else — a life of meaning. They have grasped Immanuel Kant’s dictum, “If justice perishes, human life on Earth has lost its meaning.” And in their search they come to the conclusion that, as Socrates said, it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong. This conclusion is rational, yet cannot be rationally defended. It makes a leap into the moral, which is beyond rational thought. It refuses to place a monetary value on human life. It acknowledges human life, indeed all life, as sacred. And this is why, as Arendt points out, the only morally reliable people when the chips are down are not those who say “this is wrong,” or “this should not be done,” but those who say “I can’t.”

“The greatest evildoers are those who don’t remember because they have never given thought to the matter, and, without remembrance, nothing can hold them back,” Arendt writes. “For human beings, thinking of past matters means moving in the dimension of depth, striking roots and thus stabilizing ourselves, so as not to be swept away by whatever may occur — the Zeitgeist or History or simple temptation. The greatest evil is not radical, it has no roots, and because it has no roots it has no limitations, it can go to unthinkable extremes and sweep over the whole world.”

There are streaks in my lungs, traces of the tuberculosis that I picked up around hundreds of dying Sudanese during the famine I covered as a foreign correspondent. I was strong and privileged and fought off the disease. They were not and did not. The bodies, most of them children, were dumped into hastily dug mass graves. The scars I carry within me are the whispers of these dead. They are the faint marks of those who never had a chance to become men or women, to fall in love and have children of their own. I carried these scars to the doors of Goldman Sachs. I had returned to living. Those whose last breaths had marked my lungs had not. I placed myself at the feet of these commodity traders to call for justice because the dead, and those who are dying in slums and refugee camps across the planet, could not make this journey. I see their faces. They haunt me in the day and come to me in the dark. They force me to remember. They make me choose sides. As the metal handcuffs were fastened around my wrists I thought of them, as I often think of them, and I said to myself: “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, I am free at last.”

Chris Hedges is a weekly Truthdig columnist and a fellow at The Nation Institute. His newest book is “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”

Saturday, August 10

Yellow vests Hold Protests for 39nd Consecutive Weekend in Paris

Another Saturday, another protest. "Police partout, justice nulle part."
This is the beginning of the protest and the number of policemen armed as if they were in war is appalling.
Watch here or here live now.

Friday, August 9

Free Lula Vigil

The day Lula was imprisoned. He is in the center in blue shirt surrounded by the people that didn't want him to go.

"On April 7, a year was completed that former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is unjustly imprisoned – charged and convicted of a non-existent crime. Lula, one of the world’s greatest popular leaders, was the victim of an illegal and illegitimate trial that, far from representing any attempt to obtain justice, served from the outset as a procedural fraud aimed at preventing him from competing in presidential elections last year – in which he appeared as a frank favorite in all opinion polls. Lula represents a development model that distributes income and promotes social justice." (read the details here)

Since Lula is imprisoned in the Curitiba State people have surrounded the federal police headquarters where Lula is in prison.
Every morning they say together "Good Morning President Lula". In the afternoon and finally at night: "Good Night President Lula".
Not a single day after Lula's imprisonment this ritual didn't happen.
It is called "Free Lula Vigil". Lula can hear people's saying together as a chorus.
This is a very beautiful action among many that is happening for Lula and for the country for it was Lula who put the country in another level in the international scene which became the fifty economy of the world in his governments. Four million Brazilians were no longer below poverty line.
Know more about Lula here

Wednesday, August 7

Lula is being tortured in jail despite numerous proves of his innocence

Lula is a political prisoner.
It is crystal clear for all of those who understand lesson number one of laws.
And he is also being tortured as I have explained here with just a few details.
Lula needs to be free. Justice must prevail. As a Brazilian citizen I ask for those who can help this country to make justice, please, do what you can.
Remember that Lula is 73 years old. He is facing all of this with incredible resilience.
Crime against humanity that is what Lula in prison is.

The Intercept 

Judge Sergio Moro repeatedly counseled prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol via Telegram during more than two years of Operation Car Wash.

"A LARGE TROVE of documents furnished exclusively to The Intercept Brasil reveals serious ethical violations and legally prohibited collaboration between the judge and prosecutors who last year convicted and imprisoned former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on corruption charges — a conviction that resulted in Lula being barred from the 2018 presidential election. These materials also contain evidence that the prosecution had serious doubts about whether there was sufficient evidence to establish Lula’s guilt.

The archive, provided to The Intercept by an anonymous source, includes years of internal files and private conversations from the prosecutorial team behind Brazil’s sprawling Operation Car Wash, an ongoing corruption investigation that has yielded dozens of major convictions, including those of top corporate executives and powerful politicians."
Read the whole coverage at "The Intercept"

Federal Court Judge Wants to Transfer Lula from Curitiba to São Paulo

This event has raised many questions among them the security of president Lula. Brazil is facing a dark side in it's history where the state is turning into a land of laws created by judges according to their will not the codes, the constitution and the rule of law was forgotten. Lula's lawyers and politicians are working to stop this absurd for it was sudden without advising the lawyers and with no date.
In September Lula's habeas corpus will be appreciated by the Supreme Court. Why this sudden move? 
One of the reasons is the a kind of torture that Lula has been facing. One of his brothers died and they denied Lula to go to the funeral.
This is just another in a great number of deeds done to president Lula who shouldn't even be in jail for there is not a single prove in this whole conviction and former judge Sergio Moro, put Lula in jail, he even promised his father after his death that he would put Lula in jail, because Lula was going to win 2018 elections.
Bolsonaro who had promise Sergio Moro the Ministry of Justice won the election in a fraudulent way.

The Rio Times
By Contributing Reporter -August 7, 2019

"SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will be transferred from Curitiba to São Paulo. The order was signed by substitute judge Carolina Lebbos, of the 12th Federal Court of Curitiba, on the morning of Wednesday, August 7th.

The decision does not state where Lula will be held in São Paulo; rather, it will be up to the judicial authorities there to decide; similarly, the police must adopt the necessary security measures for the transfer, for which no date was fixed.

According to the decision, the transfer petition came from the Federal Police in Curitiba*, which alleged that maintaining Lula imprisoned in Curitiba generates damage to the public interest, and that the police headquarters were not appropriate for long-term prison sentences.

Specifically, the petition for transfer alleges that the “presence of antagonistic groups” around the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba began to require permanent action by security agencies in order to avoid confrontation and ensure the safety of citizens and facilities.

The judge also took into consideration Lula’s defense counsel’s argument that, in São Paulo, Lula would be closer to his family and friends. The decision also states that “once under state tutelage, it is the duty of the State to guarantee his physical, moral and psychological integrity — as should be the case for any imprisoned citizen.”

The former president is currently serving a sentence of eight years, ten months, and twenty days in prison, after his conviction for the crimes of passive corruption and money laundering, in regard to a triplex apartment in Guarujá (SP).**

Lula’s defense counsel had opposed the Federal Police petition, claiming that transfer was not appropriate before his habeas corpus appeal to the STF had been heard, and that if he were transferred, it should be to a General Staff military prison, based on his status as a former president."

Corrections (mine):
* This petition was made one year ago and this judge just took it out of the drawer for reasons nobody understand.

** The conviction was made with no proves and followed political reasons as it is being proved with the leaks of chats of "The Intercept"

Hiroshima 74 years ago...

...the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing more than 70,000 people instantly. A second ...
You know. We all know...

Tuesday, August 6

Scientist who called out Bolsonaro on Amazon deforestation is fired

It seems that the actual Brazilian president wants to fight satellite images or pretend to make them show what he wants. I am not joking. The mind of this man works in a way that every day he says something that outrages those who are not part of his fewer and fewer supporters, finally the number is decreasing, of his craziness (not a joke either just a constatation for someone who behaves the way he does can't have the same logic and common sense of the vast majority of us).

Scientist who called out Bolsonaro on Amazon deforestation is fired
He maintains validity of satellite data
By:  Sheena McKenzie, Daniel Silva Fernandez and Elizabeth Wells
Posted: Aug 03, 2019 07:15 AM CDT Updated: Aug 03, 2019 07:15 AM CDT

(CNN) - Brazil has fired the head of a government agency that found a steep rise in deforestation in the Amazon, following a public spat with far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

Ricardo Galvão, the director of Brazil's National Space and Research Institute (INPE), said he was terminated on Friday after defending satellite data that showed deforestation was 88% higher in June compared to a year ago.

Galvão said in a video statement on Facebook that the agency let him go after a meeting with Brazil's Minister of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, Marcos Pontes.

He added that the scientific institute would continue to operate and it would now be up to Pontes to decide on his successor. An advisor to Pontes confirmed Galvão's comments to state news agency Agencia Brasil.

Bolsonaro claims the data is wrong

The scientist butted heads with Bolsonaro after the damning satellite data was released earlier in June, turning the international spotlight on the President's controversial plans to open up the world's largest rainforest to industry.

Bolsonaro called the INPE's findings "lies" and said they were harmful for trade negotiations, according to Agencia Brasil.

But Galvão stood firm, reaffirming the validity of his scientific institute, which has been monitoring the country's forests since the 1970s. He said the president had made "inappropriate accusations [of] people of the highest level of Brazilian science," in an interview with newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo. (emphasis mine)

CNN contacted the Brazilian government for comment but has not received a response.

Brazil's opposition leader in the lower house of Congress, Alessandro Molon, said in a tweet that Galvão "was attacked by the president and the environment minister for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon," adding that Bolsonaro wanted to "hide under his lies."

Controversial environmental policies 

Bolsonaro, a former army captain, took office in January on the heels of a campaign pledging to restore the country's economy by exploring the Amazon's economic potential.

Brazil is home to two-thirds of the Amazon, and during the first few months of Bolsonaro's presidency, the rate of rainforest destruction remained stable, according to the INPE. But it began to soar in May and June, the agency said.

Some 769.1 square kilometers were lost in June, six months after Bolsonaro took power -- a stark increase from the 488.4 square kilometers lost in the same month the previous year, according to the INPE. It equates to an area larger than one and a half soccer fields, being destroyed every minute of every day.

Source: News8000.